How to automatically clear storage used by iMessage in iOS 11

iMessage can take up substantial storage space on your device if you use the feature frequently to send and receive photos and videos. Here's how iOS 11 users can avoid running out of storage space.

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Many users opt to purchase an iOS device with the least amount of storage available because they figure they'll never use it all. Unfortunately, that's not the case--many apps can eat away at your storage, resulting in an error that alerts you the device is out of storage space.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

One way to prevent this error message from showing up is to have iOS 11 automatically clean up your iMessage chat history stored on your device. Let's look at the options.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Messages (Figure A).

Figure A


iMessages can automatically be removed by iOS after a set period of time has elapsed.

At the bottom of the screen there are three options to consider changing:

  • The Keep Messages setting lets you choose between keeping message history for 30 Days, 1 Year, or Forever. If you run out of storage frequently, change this option to 30 Days. Your messages will automatically be cleared off of your device when they reach this 30-day mark.
  • The next option is under the Audio Messages header. If you frequently send audio messages, set them to Expire more frequently. I recommend After 2 Minutes for security and space-conscious individuals.
  • There is an option at the bottom titled Low Quality Image Mode; with this option selected, images will be sent in lower quality, taking up less space in the history logs.

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Image: Jason Cipriani/CNET